Songs of town and countryside feature in the summer’s concert by Christ’s Hospital Choral Society – a concert which brings together big names including Gustav Holst, Bob Chilcott and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Spokeswoman Esther Clark said: “Many people will know that Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) grew up at Leith Hill Place, not far from here. He had piano lessons from the age of five, started the violin a year later, and took a correspondence course in music through Edinburgh University when he was eight. He had music lessons at school and continued at the Royal College of Music and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Perhaps not surprising then that he became a celebrated musician. He composed operas, ballets, chamber music, orchestral compositions and nine symphonies. And who hasn’t heard of ‘The Lark Ascending’? And an interesting little detail; Vaughan Williams is related both to Josiah Wedgwood, who was his great- great-grandfather, and to Charles Darwin, a great-uncle.
“The choir will be singing the beautiful Five Mystical Songs set to poems by George Herbert (1593-1633). The style of the songs varies from quiet meditation to the triumphant hymn of praise Antiphon. Alex Jones, recent post-graduate at the Guildhall School of Music, will treat us to the solos.
“Another collection of five songs is composed by Bob Chilcott (b 1955) and takes us to London in Songs and Cries of London Town. Poems by William Dunbar and William Wordsworth, amongst others, were the driving force behind this work; Chilcott loved the colour and the humour in them, and wrote bustling rhythmic music to complement the poems’ moods, sights, and sounds.
“CHCS will also perform a number of songs, amongst which is the most beautiful Welsh love song Mae ‘nghariadd I’n Fenws, arranged by Gustav Holst.
“The choir consists of around 80 members from the local area, who enjoy singing a variety of choral pieces, and perform in four concerts per year. Together with musical director Alex Hodgkinson, high calibre soloists and excellent musicians, the choir is a force to be reckoned with.”
The concert is on Friday, June 14 at 8pm Christ’s Hospital Chapel. Tickets £5-£11, available from choir members, on the door or the box office on 01403 247434.